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Hinchey urging Hochul to require GE to fully remediate Hudson River

Oct 30, 2022 1:00 am

Andrea Macko reports in Porcupine Soup that state Sen. Michelle Hinchey is urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to arrange a settlement that would require General Electric to fund and conduct a complete cleanup of the toxic chemicals the company dumped into the Hudson River over the course of 30 years. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a certificate of completion for the cleanup project, despite the state's argument that the dredging did not sufficiently remediate the river. A recent settlement between the EPA and GE requires the corporation to study PCB pollution in the lower portion of the Hudson Superfund Site, but it does not require comprehensive remediation of the river, which Hinchey is demanding. Hinchey's position has the backing of environmental groups, including the non-profit Scenic Hudson. On October 26, she sent a letter to the governor, signed, and supported by 30 other state senators, urging Hochul to convene Hudson River Trustee agencies, the EPA, and GE to negotiate a deal that would result in the removal of remaining contaminants and the full restoration of the Hudson River. “GE spent decades dumping poisonous chemicals into our majestic Hudson River and then forced our Hudson Valley communities to pick up the pieces. ...We cannot let GE skirt its responsibility to get the job done," Hinchey said. From 1947 to 1977, two GE capacitor manufacturing plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, dumped an estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, a carcinogenic compound manufactured by Monsanto, into the Hudson River. Those toxins have had significant adverse impacts on the public, environmental and economic health, including increased cancer rates, reproductive issues, the contamination of clean drinking water and local fish species. Due to the pollution and public health impacts, the state of New York banned fishing in the Upper Hudson River and in 1984, the 200-mile stretch was declared a Superfund Site. Read the full story at pocupinesoup [dot] com.